"The inky blackness of the subway tunnel whooshed by the windows. The expression on the masses of people's faces were of passive exasperation. Their collective nonchalance did not soothe Aldrea Highline's apprehension. "It took two weeks to write those three sentences for my first novel "Solstice". Not because I was lazy but because I wanted them to carry a specific image. A perfect image. To convey my exact thoughts. That's how important words and information are to me. Unfortunately words no longer matter.
We have reached a point of complete lunacy. Where anarchic monsters have taken over our airways and radiowaves and books. These feral creatures seek out and root away fact. They devour it and regurgitate bullshit leaving a fecal trail of disinformation all over the place. A few nights ago Trevor Noah, the young political comedian, hosting The Daily Show interviewed conservative firebrand, Tomi Lahren. It was like watching Dick Cavett wrestle a pig.
Discourse and wit have been replaced with yelling and obstinance. Ms. Lahren just flexed her considerably loud, obnoxious opinion and the right-wing media hailed it as victory. She wasn't/ isn't funny, clever, colorful or graceful. She's rapacious and her voice is as cloyingly annoying as Lesley Ann Warren's Norma in "Victor/ Victoria" with none of the character's charm.
Lahren and Noah are not equally yoked. He's good but he's no Baldwin. The bigger problem is she's no Buckley. When James Baldwin stepped onto the podium to thunderous applause at Cambridge Union in 1965 to debate William F. Buckley, his opening remarks were about perception. How the perception of America was different for Black People than it was for white. That between these bits of nuance lies the true heart of the problem. But nuance no longer seems to exist. We now live in a world of bluntness and primary colors. Of tribalism and nihilism. Where the din of name calling has erased the true rightenous of civic duty by letting people say "Well both sides are wrong."
No both sides are not wrong. It's not just impolite to create facts and false evelancies. Its not just hearsay its sedition to truth. We have seen this behavior metasize over the years. First with reality TV bleeding into our lives. Where bad behavior became tolerable. Then we saw it in our news rooms, where journalism was treated like entertainment. Where investigative reporters were fired and replaced with pretty, neutral, good-looking automatons that just paraphrased what this candidate said at this event without context. Then it invaded our politics. And that's where we are today. We no longer debate how to fix a problem. We have one side just screaming and insulting the other side and telling them racism nor climate change nor police brutality is a real thing. We have campaign managers saying to audiences without the slightest hint of a lie that there was no white supremacist involved in the presidential campaign she managed, all the while the person in question admitted in an interview to having ties with white supremacist.
So there you have it. The discussion is stymied before it can start. Not because Tomi Lahren can shut down Trevor Noah with facts and repartee. But because even at his best he can't penetrate her ignorance because it's embedded on a grandular level and we have started to reward the loudest, most obnoxious kid in the class instead of the smartest. Adolph Hitler once wrote "Der Sieger wird nie gefragt, ob er die Wahrheit gesagt habe."
"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."